Gulf-South Summit - March 2-4, 2011 -  Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center -Roanoke, Virginia
Plenary Speakers

Topic: Civic Engagement in Diverse and Changing Communities: the Urgency of Teaching to Create a Better World in the Context of Difference, Democracy, and Competing World Views

While respect and reciprocity are now familiar aspirational values of community partnerships, differences between campus and community continue to challenge our abilities to embody best practices. Yet the realities of difference are even more complex than "campus vs. community," as competing world views exist in all communities, and presumptive truths about the "right way" to be civically engaged is a subject of passionate debate with no easy or obvious resolution. Nadinne will share perspectives on the depth of the challenges we face in espousing civic engagement in diverse and changing communities. She will suggest that raising awareness of "difference" in communities is necessary, but it is not sufficient for realizing more fully the potential of teaching civic engagement. Instead, Nadinne will invite us to reframe teaching civic engagement as pedagogy not only for learning and understanding, but also as a process for actively creating the better world we hope for.

photo For over 25 years, Nadinne Cruz has been a practitioner, leader, advocate, speaker and author on the need for pedagogies of engagement in higher education. Her early volunteer experiences with peasants in the Philippines and her Filipina-American immigrant consciousness of social issues inspire her work. She is former Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford, where she developed the Public Service Scholars Program, as well as former executive director of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). She co-authored the book, Service-Learning: A Movement's Pioneers Reflect on Its Origins, Practice, and Future, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999, with Timothy Stanton and Dwight Giles. Now an Independent Consultant, Nadinne is a frequent speaker and workshop leader at higher education institutions across the country, while continuing with active mentorship of former students and emerging leaders in community engagement.

Topic: Places Your G.P.S. Can't Take You

What does it mean to practice a place-based model of education, service, and citizenship in changing communities, in a culture that does not value places or those who make a commitment to a place? Building on the experiences of Emory & Henry College and its Appalachian Center for Community Service, Stanley will call participants to explore place as more socially, culturally, and ecologically complex and more defined by conflict than traditional ideas of community will allow. Participants will consider the possibility that citizenship in and for a place is more than voting and keeping abreast of current affairs. The plenary will move to focus on an educational process that that works to provide the intellectual and civic skills to abide in a place, to negotiate the ambiguous and uncharted territory between the right answers and the honest answers to the questions a place raises. Drawing stories and examples from Stanley's more than twenty-five years of work in particular places, and building on the concept of intradependence, the session will suggest a model of education that creates possibilities for a place to teach its honesty, for a more engaged and empowered citizenry for changing communities.

photo Talmage A. Stanley is a tenth-generation Southwest Virginian from Dublin, in Pulaski County. He lives and works at Emory & Henry College where he is the Director of the Appalachian Center for Community Service, Chair of the College's Department of Public Policy and Community Service, and Director of the Bonner Scholars Program. He also directs the Master of Arts program in Community and Organizational Leadership. He has written articles, reviews, and commentaries that have appeared in the Appalachian Journal, the Journal of Appalachian Studies, Practicing Anthropology, and various other academic and general interest publications. His book, The Poco Field: an American Story of Place, is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press.

Topic: Proactive Partnering and Democratizing: The Case of Resettling Refugee Communities

While many American universities have partnered with resettled refugee communities successfully, we are learning that some models for collaboration are more successful than others. Specifically, university service-learning programs need to be proactive in assuming a role in the earliest stages of welcoming / resettling newcomers. In order for university service-learning programs to take this proactive role, they need to be willing to work closely with the resettlement service providers who may be protective against outside groups wanting to work with the newcomer refugees. University service learning administrators would do well to understand these and other barriers to entry before they develop programs to assist newly arrived refugees. If universities can overcome these hurdles, then they can begin to make an early impact on the most vulnerable of the newly arrived school-age refugee children when they likely need the assistance the most.

Our speakers will be joined by members of the Roanoke Somali Bantu community who will provide comment on their experience of engaging with service-learning students in their journey toward self-sufficiency and citizenship.

photo Dan Van Lehman is on the faculty in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and a former board member with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization. He was a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) field officer in the Dagahaley Refugee Camp from 1992 to 1994 when the UNHCR first tried to resettle the Bantu to Tanzania. He was again hired by the UNHCR in 1997 to help seek resettlement for the Bantu refugees to Mozambique. His master's thesis promotes the concept of intra-Africa resettlement for African refugees using the Somali Bantu as the case study. Since 1992, Mr. Van Lehman has advocated for protection through resettlement for the Somali Bantu refugees. He has spoken at conferences and authored articles on their plight and potential.


Omar A. Eno is a Ph.D. candidate in history at York University in Toronto, Canada. His dissertation is on "Ethnicity, Slavery, Stigma, and Plantation Economy: The Case of the Heer-Goleed (people of the forest) Diaspora and the Indigenous Bantu/Jareer People in Southern Somalia (1840-2000)." He is deeply committed to bringing the attention of the international community to Bantu issues, and he regularly travels and works in East Africa. He is also one of the first Bantu to advocate in an international forum for civil and human rights on behalf of the Bantu people in Somalia. He is a member of several international academic organizations such as, The African Studies Association, The Inter-Riverine Studies Association, The Somali Studies International Association, and he is the co-founder of The Bantu Rehabilitation Trust in Nairobi-Kenya.

Together, Eno and Lehman helped over 25 Somali Bantu community groups establish partnerships with American university service-learning programs.


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